ASI ‘bans’ Muslims from offering namaz at Taj Mahal mosque on all days except Friday, sparks controversy


November 5, 2018

Agra: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has prohibited or “banned” Muslims from offering namaz at the mosque at the Taj Mahal premises in Agra on all days, excluding Fridays. The order has stirred a controversy among the community even as ASI officials asserted that they were simply implementing the Supreme Court order that was delivered in July.

In the July order, the top court had upheld a local administration’s diktat that hat sought to stop non-residents from offering Friday namaz at the mosque in view of the security of Taj Mahal. As Taj Mahal remains closed for the public on Friday, local residents are permitted to offer prayers between 12 pm and 2 pm without buying an entry ticket.

However, until now, for the rest of the week, any visitor carrying a valid ticket to Taj Mahal premises was allowed to visit the mosque and offer namaz.

On Sunday, the ASI locked up the ‘vazu tank’, the area where namazis wash themselves up before offering prayers. The move took several tourists by surprise, while many Muslims were seen offering namaz outside the mosque, The Times of India reported.

Imam Syed Sadiq Ali, whose family has been tasked with leading the prayers at the mosque for decades, also expressed surprise at the new order. The imam and staff of the mosque have also been ordered to show up at the mosque only on Fridays, the daily reported.

On the other hand, Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, who is the president of Taj Mahal Intezamia Committee said that there was no reason to stop namaz from being offered at the mosque in Taj Mahal as the practice had been going on for the last many years, the daily noted. He added that the present government, both at the Centre and the state, harboured an “anti-Muslim” mindset. Zaidi said that he had planned to meet ASI officials on Monday to discuss the matter.

 

“Islam says muslim need no particular place to offer Namaz. Then why they are protesting for Taj Mahal ? Why they need every place including railway track, national highways, roads and everything for Namaz.”- Editor, Vedic Upasana Peeth

 

Source : Times Now News 



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